The Further Adventures of the Frankenstein Monster
Many years passed during which Victor lived a pleasant enough life, neither extremely happy nor unhappy, but comfortable and accepted by the tribe. Even Katrikki learned to tolerate his ugliness and would look at him without flinching. She even kissed and hugged him sometimes. She treated him as the other women of the tribe treated their husbands. She cooked and cleaned and helped him mend nets and tend to the reindeer herd. When together, they chatted and even laughed together.
But as time passed a problem began to arise. Jaakko, Katrikki and the other people of the tribe aged, but Victor did not. Although, because of his nature, it was difficult to ascertain his true age, it became obvious that he did not change at all. He was still as strong and vigorous as had been after he recovered from his freezing when he first arrived.
Finally Jaakko died. The funeral consisted of placing the deceased in a small boat and allowing it to drift out to sea. It had not been made seaworthy so that the body eventually sank below the waves.
By this time, Katrikki was middle aged. About a week later, the village elders came in a group to Victor's hut to tell him that he must leave. Since he did not age, they had decided that it was not fitting for a god to live among them. The elders assured him that Katrikki would be cared for. Victor understood. He had never really felt comfortable among most of the tribe other than Jaakko and Katrikki. They always treated him with deference and fear. Most believed that he was truly a god.
As he said good-bye, Katrikki burst into tears and hugged him. He kissed the top of her head, took what belongings he could carry and walked south and west. For almost a year he traveled through forests, mountains and plains. He constructed a bow and made arrows from dead tree limbs, which he used to hunt game. From Jaakko he had learned how to make fire by twirling a stick. When he traveled through farmland, he stole whatever produce was ripe. Although he avoided towns and villages, he sometimes slept in farmers' barns and stole items that he could use, such as an ax or clothing, which he needed to modify to fit him.
After several months, he reached the
On Saturday nights, the longshoremen frequented a waterfront bar. There they drank and told stories of their youth. They drank with Victor if he paid. Otherwise they avoided him. Once, a large man became drunk and cursed Victor in Russian. He called him "son of a filthy pig so ugly even the sows avoid you."
By that time, Victor had learned enough of the language to know what the bully had said. He grabbed the drunk by the shirt and said, "You may call me ugly. That I don't mind, for I am. You may also curse my parentage, because I curse him too. But never call me by the name of that filthy animal."
In reply, the man spit at Victor and struck him in the face with his fist. This was the biggest mistake of his life. Victor did not flinch, merely struck the man back, smashing his nose, breaking a dozen teeth and sending him flying across the room unconscious. Victor returned to his drink as though nothing had happened. A few nights later, when Victor left the bar, the man came out of dark alley with two of his friends. They carried grappling hooks for weapons. The next morning, all three were found dead with their necks broken. The authorities made a cursory investigation, but did not pursue it since the dead men were known troublemakers. No one ever bothered Victor again.
Local prostitutes hung out at the bar, and at times Victor made use of them. But they, like Katrikki, would not look at him as they serviced him. Before they would remove their clothing, they insisted that all lamps be extinguished in whatever room the evening's rendezvous took place.
Victor spent twenty years in
The man smiled, "All of those languages. Which do you prefer?" he said in French.
Victor replied, "French." He spoke that language almost as well as his native Swiss.
After they had a few drinks together, Victor asked, "Do you know where a man can obtain employment in this city?"
Fleischmann eyed Victor up and down. "You seem unusually large and strong. What do you do?"
"Many things. I have been a herder of animals, a fisherman and a longshoreman."
"These are occupations for persons who have great strength such as you have, but not much in the brain department." He pointed to his head. "But you speak like someone who has some education."
Victor grinned. "I am self educated. I used to read a lot. I enjoy the classics."
Fleischmann stroked his long beard. "I could use a laboratory assistant. I am an alchemist."
"An alchemist, huh. My father was an alchemist. I have an idea of what you do." By this time, the wine was going to Victor's head. "I'll tell you a secret. I am not human. I was created by a man named Frankenstein."
Fleischmann stared at him for several moments. "I have heard of this man, Baron Frankenstein. There was much tragedy in his life. A sea captain by the name of Walton found him dying in the artic wilderness. Walton told a long tale that Frankenstein had related to him about creating an artificial man from parts of dead bodies and bringing it to life. Everyone dismissed the story as a fantasy cooked up either by Walton or Frankenstein."
Victor chuckled. "It was no fantasy. I am the creature that Frankenstein created."
Fleischmann's eyes grew round, and he licked his lips. "I believe you. You must come to my home. I will provide you with room and board plus a small salary if you will become my laboratory assistant."
Although Victor suspected that Fleischmann wanted to pry Frankenstein's secrets from him, he decided that he would be safe and lead some sort of normal life as an employee of this man. "I accept."
They shook hands. After they left the cafe, Fleischmann led him to his home, where he was given a place to sleep in a spare bedroom. Fleischmann was a bachelor who lived an almost hermit like existence.
* * *
The work in the laboratory was not difficult. Victor's tasks were to clean up any messes, do any heavy lifting required and to aid some of the experiments. Fleischmann's main goal was to produce an elixir of life. Since he believed that Frankenstein had done this and had used it to bring Victor to life, he was continually interrogating him about the methods that Frankenstein had used. Victor told him that he knew very little about the processes that were used in his creation. That was not strictly true. Victor knew more than he was telling.
Victor enjoyed the work, and his conversations with the talkative alchemist. For the most part, Fleischmann was good to Victor, sharing his simple meals and pleasures. A few times he provided Victor with prostitutes. He required Victor to work, not as a servant, but as an apprentice. Victor was allowed free reign of Fleischmann's books, which he took full advantage of, learning much about Judaism and the occult. From time to time, there were pogroms against the Jews, but the men who would harm Fleischmann and Victor took one look at Victor and left him alone.
Not long after Victor was hired, Fleischmann read a book by Anton Mesmer and made an unsuccessful attempt to mesmerize Victor. Victor felt the attempt was made in order for Victor to reveal the secret knowledge he was holding back.
While Victor lived with Fleischmann, the rabbi read aloud from his holy books and books on the occult. One of the tales concerned the first wife of Adam, who was called Lillith. According to Fleischmann she was a dark angel and still existed as a succubus who came to men at night to steal their seed and sometimes their soul. The night that Victor heard this story, he dreamed of her. When the dream started, he was in a dark cavern lighted by torches on the wall. Soon he heard a slithering sound. Through an archway came a lizard the size of an elephant. Riding it was a beautiful naked woman, with dark red hair, a lovely face and a perfect body, although she was nonhuman in two respects. She had enormous bat wings, and her hands ended in long sharp talon-like fingers with dagger-like nails.
She smiled at him and said, "Victor, as you now call yourself, you must be patient. Soon I'll find you a mate that will be of your own kind. After the human race is gone, the children from this union will repopulate the earth."
She slid off her dragon and put her arms around Victor. They copulated on the floor of the cave.
When Victor woke up, he found that he had spilled his seed. He wondered, Was that simply a wet dream or did I make love to a succubus? If it was really a message from the demon Lillith, could the things she said be a prophesy?
When he told Fleischmann about the dream, the old man said, "It was definitely a prophetic vision." He patted Victor on the back. "You are to spawn a new race."
Victor did not believe it. He did not think that Frankenstein had made him fertile.
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